Meghan Daum of the L.A. Times has had an epiphany. The story of adulterous South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is still in the news, she's decided, because America's men see themselves reflected in him. Yes, Daum apparently feels that all men are adulterers, so they sympathize with him causing the story to keep bumping along.
Daum spies some "gasp--empathy" for the governor in various corners of the Old Media and this, she has decided, must mean that there is a "tiny bit of Mark Sanford" in men across the country. One wonders if Daum spied this same lecherous "sympathy" abounding among Democrats when a certain president was wagging his finger in our faces and saying he "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Monica"?
Betcha she didn't. As a matter of fact, I'll bet no such thing crossed her mind as the Clinton's Monica-gate raged on and on.
Check out this baseless rumination.
So what's left to say about the Sanford saga? Call me crazy, but amid all this finger-wagging, am I detecting just a little bit of -- gasp -- empathy? Is there something about Sanford's puppyish comportment, not to mention the fact that, unlike many adulterous politicos, he seems to be truly in love with his mistress (or at least truly convinced that he is) that's making him less a pariah and more a symbol of the male midlife crisis? For all his duplicity and entitlement, are some Americans -- particularly men -- feeling as much pity as outrage? Consider this small sample:
She answers herself thus:
But as we slog through another week of the Jackson postmortem-paloooza and wonder at the fact that we're also still hearing about the South Carolina governor's love for certain tan lines, maybe it's worth asking ourselves why. Is it because we're uncategorically appalled? Or is it because maybe, just maybe, there's a tiny bit of Mark Sanford in, if not all men, quite a few of them?
So, what do you think, guys? Are you feeling sorry for the adulterer because you are secretly just like him? Do you have a stack of Argentine frequent flier miles secretly piled up waiting for redemption at a later date? Is there redemption at a later date?
Is it impossible for men to really feel any outrage? Are they all just using the mask of outrage to cover their sympathetic feelings?
Or is Daum a she-male, man hater that is reaching too far for a column?